The People's Perspective on Medicine



Hydrocodone is a semisynthetic analgesic similar in most respects to codeine. In combination with acetaminophen, it offers excellent relief for moderate pain. It can ease the discomfort of a bad toothache or the aftermath of minor surgery.

Hydrocodone with acetaminophen is sold under a number of names, including Anexsia 5/500, Anodynos DHC, Bancap, Co-Gesic, Dolacet, Duradyne DHC, Hydrocet, Lortab, Norcet, T-Gesic, and Zydone. Vicodin is the most popular brand name for this medication.

Side Effects and Interactions

Possible side effects to be aware of include weakness, euphoria, loss of appetite, sweating and constipation. Some people experience shortness of breath, especially if they have asthma.

Other less common reactions include an allergic rash, disorientation, dry mouth and urinary difficulties. Report any such symptoms to your physician promptly. Acetaminophen may cause liver or kidney problems in large doses or over long periods.

Your physician should evaluate your need for this combination pain reliever periodically. If you are taking any other medicines, check with a physician or pharmacist. Alcohol as well as many over-the-counter and prescription drugs can add to the sedative effect of this analgesic. Antihistamines, antianxiety agents, antidepressants and sleeping pills require extra caution.

Both tricyclic and MAO-type antidepressants may interact with this analgesic to cause greater toxicity, and the anticonvulsant Dilantin may increase the risk of liver damage.

Special Precautions

Like any narcotic, hydrocodone may make you drowsy. Do not drive or attempt any activity that requires coordination and judgment. Older people may be more susceptible to this reaction, or to lightheadedness or dizziness. Never stand up suddenly as it may make you feel faint.

Long-term use of hydrocodone and acetaminophen has drawbacks. Hydrocodone, like other narcotics, may be habit forming if you take it regularly. Do not increase the dose on your own in a quest to achieve greater pain relief. But don’t play the hero by skipping doses during an acute crisis. Pain is more easily managed if it can be nipped in the bud instead of trying to play catch up when it has gotten out of control.

Taking the Medicine

Some people react to hydrocodone with nausea or vomiting. Taking it with food may reduce stomach upset. Nausea, dizziness and other common reactions may be less troublesome if you lie down for awhile.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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How long before itching stops? I currently only take 10mg once a day or as needed.

3 1/2 years ago I had finished two surgeries on a nerve I injured in my elbow. The Ulnar nerve that links to your pinky and ring fingers. The first doctor made a mistake and second one repaired the problem. By that time though permanent damage was done and I lost that nerve and lived in pain 24/7.

I have been on a managed plan of taking 15mgs or two (2) 750/325’s a day. One at wake up and the other at 2:00pm everyday like a clock. If I don’t I hurt all over at 58 years of age. I have lost my upper body strength and wake every morning feeling sick. 15 minutes after the first dose I’m singing to the dogs. 3 1/2 years on this medication, I’m losing my mobility and what use to be fun is a job speaking of outdoor activities. I avoid physical work if I can knowing I will pay dearly for it.

My pain doctor says it’s not hurting me. Well guess what? It’s finishing me off. I truly feel the sick in the mornings is my body asking for the drug as I almost crawl to the kitchen. I have called a substance abuse center just this week to see about getting off the drug in-patient or out. I am too young to allow my life to be held back by a pill. I will grit my teeth for my health back. If nothing changes….. nothing changes. Beware of pain pills long term.

I’ve been “drug free” for going on two years now. I have Meneries disease and have migraine headaches with the disease. For a period of five years I amassed a good quantity of narcotics. I was on Effexor twice a day, hydro (10/325) 4 times a day, tramadol, corispordone, xanax as needed. I usually went through all four narcotic rx by the end of each month.

I lost five years to the vicious cycle of always needing my “medicine” bag. I missed out on seeing my son through his hardest times of high school because I was too stoned to understand what was going on. I could function during the daytime but when night came I was pretty zonked. It took a divorce (after 33yrs together) and my X finding God to get me straight. By the grace of God I tapered off the Effexor, but flushed the other rxs. I had a week of pure Hell. Dry heaving, sweating, shivering, no energy, diarrhea, not sleeping.

After the withdrawal period was over, it would take about a month before I would get a good night rest without waking up every two hours, I really had no desire for the pills. My mind was starting to function again. The first time I noticed the difference was very casual. My son travels with him job and he mentioned a town he was going to. I immediately said…”thats down by…” and hes like, “how did you know that?” I had to think a minute and say, I don’t know, I just do. It was a breakthrough for both of us. He had written me off as a mother, (which now breaks my heart that I know that)… but gave us a glimpse of the person I was “BP” (before prescriptions). I was relativity smart.

The second time I had a moment was I was standing behind someone in a check out line and I overheard the amount of purchase and the cashier and person were trying to make change without a calculator and the change amount came to me instantly! Awesome!.. I would encourage, implore and say “don’t waste another second” in TAKING your life back from drug addiction. I thought it was ok because I had prescriptions for all my drugs, but being hooked, is being hooked anyway you look at it. You not only short change yourself but you selfishly take away being a mother, daughter, sister, etc. My body went into “store mode” and I’ve gained a extra 40lbs, but at least now I have the energy and desire to get in shape. I can look back and say that the pain WAS NOT managed by the narcotics, but MY actions were controlled by the narcotics. What’s one or two weeks of misery, (and I PROMISE you it will pass) as compared to reclaiming your mind and in my case getting my son back. He and I now workout at the gym and practice jiu jitsu together. Hes my strongest cheerleader and encouragement coach. I look back at pictures and videos of me and shake my head, but know I’ll never be that “goggles eyed” person again..

I take Generic Vicodin 10/325 and do not understand why there are different side effects based on who the manufacturer is. If it is from Watson I have no problem with constipation. I actually have better bowel movements than normal. But if it is another manufacturer I get constipated so bad that I almost end up in the hospital. Does anyone one know why?

Has anyone heard about a new rule 2015 with the VA about having to have a Urine test before they can refill a RX for NORCO 10mg, which my friends 87 yrs old father with RA and hasn’t had his script since the first week of March?

I was prescribed hydrocodone 7.5 I have been taking it for a couple months for chronic back pain that I suffered injury 10 years ago I have dealt with it for years and years and now the hydrocodone doesn’t seem to be helping I just got my prescription for days ago should I go back to my doctor and ask if there is anything else that he can give me to go with the hydrocodone 7.5 or should I ask him to change my medicine to something different?

I have heard that there are major problems with shortages of hydrocodone pain management medications in the Texas Gulf Coast including Houston. When a pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens if found to have it in stock, even though a patient has a valid prescription they are most often treated as a drug addict and can be denied the medication if they do not meet the pharmacies “criteria”. What is going on? Why are there shortages of this medication? Why are patients being treated as drug addicts and being humiliated in front of other customers by being confronted and denied by CVS and Walgreens? It seems as though the FDA has not just reclassified the pain management hydorcodone meds from class III to II but deny many who have valid prescriptions and are in intense pain. This seems inhumane. What can be done to change this situation?

Please do not go your doctor and say that. Just say that these are not working at all and he or she will change scripts. If you ask them, they think that you are drug shopping. Also say pain is worse, if it is. Good luck.

I have been taking Hydrocodone 325 T for lower back pain. I am experiencing severe shortness of breath. If I wean myself off of it, how long will it take before the shortness of breath clears up?

I took this medication for pain relief after a tooth extraction. I took it last night around 7PM and felt horribly dizzy and lightheaded. My question is woke up this morning and still feel bad. Is it normal for this medication to take so long to subside.

I am 57 yrs old and live with my daughter and grandchildren who are quite active. I was taking Vicodin 5/500 for fibromyalgia (chronic pain of course), lumbar back pain AND toothache. I asked to switch to Norco as I was concerned about the impact of acetaminophen on my liver. I have been taking the Norco 5/325 mg twice daily, ( a very low dose by choice) for about 3 months, and it is no longer working to relieve my fibro pain (which flares in cold and wet weather.) I am hopeful that spring and warmth will bring some decrease of the deep pain but wonder if I should change to a different medication than the Norco rather than increase the dose? Does anyone have experience with pain management for fibromyalgia? I also take Dilantin 200 mg daily, and niacin 500 mg. to lower my very high cholesterol as I reacted to the statin drugs. (t sounds like I can increase the niacin dosage. Thank you in advance.

Depending on how long a person has taken a narcotic, stopping abruptly can cause nervousness, restlessness, agitation, insomnia, confusion. That’s in addition to the pain returning if they were taking it for pain control. If someone just doesn’t like the idea of taking narcotics, would suggest skipping every other dose for a few days, then skipping additional doses until you get down to zero.
If taken for pain, of course, the pain will escalate and that can make a person restless and agitated and unable to sleep. So if pain becomes problematic again, then have to ask your doc for another prescription and try a different drug if you didn’t like something about the one you want to get off of.
Stop taking a drug can be annoying at first, but unless for a chronic condition that isn’t going to ever cease, taking a drug just to explore what it feels like isn’t good for your body. Your kidneys and liver have to filter everything you put in your body and those organs wear out if you abuse them with things you don’t need to ingest.

Oxycontin is a different drug from Oxycodone.
Oxycontin is a slow release drug and it has no generics, so, you get it every time.
Oxycodone is fast release and is usually mixed with tylenol (APAP). It is manufactured under a lot of different names. People who take Oxycodone/APAP: that is the generic form. Brand name would be Percocet. Same ingredients in each bottle of pills. Percocet has oxycodone and tylenol (APAP).
When you think one doesn’t do as much good as the other, it’s because you have the idea in your head that the generic isn’t as good as the brand name.
The only difference between generic and brand is the cost. When the patent for the brand name drug runs out, other companies jump on the pharmacy wagon and start making the same pill, just under another name. You are not being ripped off, folks.

What are the withdrawal symptoms from Hydrocodone or Norco when stopped abruptly?

It’s hard to explain allergies without getting into a deep, medical explanation, but basically, a person’s body does not recognize a substance as “not welcome” (i.e., an allergic to it) when first introduced to the substance. Later, the body has an inflammatory response (ranging from itching to unconsciousness) to the substance. For example, I had a CT scan using contrast dye and was fine. Then, the 2nd time I had a scan, I passed out immediately and my airway was completely blocked (that’s called anaphylaxis) and without epinepherine given immediately, I would have died. Radiology personnel have that ready whenever they give a scan because without breathing the patient dies.
Getting back to your itching, some people tolerate a side effect from a drug if they believe the drug does a good job of treating the main issue, which is pain, for you. Severe itching and constant scratching has it’s own side effects and has to be treated. The side effect of itching won’t go away. You’ve probably heard of people taking addition meds to counter side effects of a med that is giving them an unpleasant side effect. For instance, they might take an antihistamine (benadryl, or a generic) to counter the itching. That’s more meds for your body to absorb and process. Most people would opt, probably, to switch to a different pain med.
Oxycontin is slow release, so if you didn’t get relief from it for your pain, the doseage wasn’t enough and docs are reluctant to increase it if the patient is older or the condition causing the pain is apt to be short lived. Usually a fast release med like Oxycodone is given along with the Oxycontin. Oxycontin and Oxycodone are 2 different drugs meant to do different things. Most docs prescribe Oxycodone mixed with tylenol which has a small anti-inflammatory effect (from the tylenol) which is good for folks with chronic spinal problems. The name brand is Percocet. Percocet has a generic, called Endocet. Oxycontin does not have a generic. See how the names get confusing?
I am a RN certified in oncology care and very familiar with these drugs. It sounds like you need to switch off of Vicodin to a diffent pain reliever if you cannot tolerate the itching (and why should you-there are other drugs available). However, if other drugs have side effects you don’t like (too much sleepiness, blurred vision, dizziness), then you have to choose which drug is the lease offensive to you. Don’t just load up on tylenol or ibuprofen. Too much of over the couter drugs like them can damage your liver. More of something doesn’t mean better response.
And FYI, a spinal fusion does not guarantee freedom from pain. It sounds like you will always need some type of pain reliever. I have spinal problems, too. I know your pain. Best wishes.

I have spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and my spinal canal is swollen shut. To make matters worse, I wouldn’t stop working (over the road truck driver) and fell about 8ft. while getting out of my truck. I broke both hips and fractured my spine. Now my doctor claims I 3 spinal fusion, but I said enough already! I went from just taking Tylenol 4 to vicodin to morphine and then oxycodin. I was so tired of take morphine for about 6 months, then taking oxycodin.
After I replaced both hips I insisted that I just go back on vicodin with a muscle relaxer (tizanidine 4mg). I have been on Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen (Vicodin). I been on this in the past and never had what appears to be a allergic reaction( severe itching esp. in my hand but all over). Could this just be I haven’t been on this med for a long time and its just a possible side affect, or could it be that I am all of a sudden allergic to it? The vicodin has never reacted in me this way.

I have a prescription for hydrocodone/tylenol for arthritis. Earlier prescriptions brought relief and enabled me to fall asleep. However, the recent prescriptions for generics not only don’t work well, but they also always give me insomnia (not drowsiness)!

I take the hydrocodone/tylenol 7.5/750 3x daily and it does seem to be like taking nothing at all sometimes. Other times it puts me right down. Thought it was just me until reading other people experience the same thing.

There is no generic (substitute) for Oxycontin. That’s why the doc doesn’t have to comment regarding a generic. Oxycontin is slow release Oxycodone. The mg. it is dispensed in is different from Oxycodone.
Generics are made by competing companies when the patent on a drug runs out. they mix the SAME chemicals in their own “vehicle” to give it a different color and shape (and different markings on the pills) to distinguish it from the brand name pill. They can make it cheaper because they are not having to recoup all the money spent on researching and testing the drugs in the pill. So, yes, insurance companies want the patients to get the cheaper pills. They are cheaper because of the above-mentioned reason, – NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE LESS QUALITY. Drug stores wrangle with suppliers and wind up getting a drug in different colors and shapes from time to time. The only time I complained was when I got pills from 2 different manufacturers in the same bottle. It was the same drug – the drugstore ran out of one, so made up the different in the newer batch that was different color and shape. I have a PDR and could look them up and knew they were the same drug, but a drugstore shouldn’t confuse patients hat way.
Now, add Tylenol to the Oxycodone, and you have Percocet or endocet, or a bunch of other names). They are all the same.
E., RN

You need a board certified pain management doctor. Not a sports medicine pain doc, but one who works with disease (vs. injuries). I have a good one. That person will write for narcotics. A general practitioner or internal medicine doc probably won’t in this day and age when they are cracking down on prescription drug abuse. I will always need narcotic control in addition to physical therapy and other modalities. I wouldn’t trust getting drugs from an internet source or someone on the street. Who knows what you’d get and you certainly would pay more for it that way than you would through legal means.
E., RN

I’m not a medical professional but I do know that every time I’m prescribed Vicodin for paid the doctors give me a stern warning about it’s affects. I get the prescription filled and it’s Hydrocodone. And there is no relief from my pain let alone euphoria AT ALL… as a matter of fact I’m taking it now and unless I take it with an ibuprofen 800mg my toothache just continues to throb.
When I took it previously for fibroids it was the same lack of relief. Just because it’s SUPPOSED to have the ingredients based on an original formula per medical terms, doesn’t mean it’s what we’ve been given. Listed ingredients are only as good as the veracity and credibility of the manufacturer. Who knows what we’re taking when insurance companies are trying to save themselves money.

I have a prescription for hydrocodone 5/500. Can I choose the Brand name I want or does the pharmacy do that? I don’t want vicodin would rather try Lortab as a friend suggested it might work better for me. The last prescription filled they gave me generic vicodin and it did not work as well. My new prescription just says hydrocodone 5/500.

Vicodin is a brand name. The generic is hydrocodone with tylenol. The bottle will say hydrocodone/APAP. The APAP means tylenol (acetaminophen). They are the same drugs – same chemical formula. Once the patent runs out on a brand name drug other companies can make it and call it a different name. They didn’t spend the money discovering and testing the drug, so they can afford to charge less for it. The original company that made the brand name is trying to recoup it’s research money.
More than one drug company will pick up and make a drug once the patent expires. That’s why you can get a round pill one time, an oblong one another, different numbers and letters stamped on them, different colors, etc. Reputable drug stores in this country do not buy pills from overseas for the very reason they want to know legally what they are getting and turning around to sell to people. They can’t afford to distribute fake or tainted pills and get sued or lose business.
Oxycontin doesn’t have a generic, BUT your bottle may say Oxycodone SR which stands for slow release. Or, Oxycodone CR which stands for continued release. Oxycontin and Oxycodone are made from the same compound, but formulated for slow or fast relief. When you take and Oxycontin, you won’t feel any relief in an hour or two. You have to take it every day (whether it’s once, twice, three times – whatever your doctor ordered). After a few days it should reduce your overall pain enough for you to notice. Your doctors wants you to rate your pain every time you go to see him, right? If your pain is a 9 out of 10, the Oxycontin should lower your pain to a number less than 9. Then on a bad day when your pain is spiking (for whatever reason-too much exercise, picked up something too heavy, slept wrong, etc) you take the Oxycodone and you should feel some relief in 1/2 hour-1 hour.
Remember: (oxy)contin is slow release (relief) -take it regularly;
(oxy)codone is fast release – take it only when your pain spikes
For someone with nerve pain, just any narcotic is not going to work. Nerve pain is different from bone pain or visceral pain (after surgery). Neurontin, Topamax and Lyrica are good for nerve pain. Lyrica is the latest and still under patent so it costs a lot (more than $500/month out of pocket and at least $45 copay if you have insurance). There is no generic for it. Neurontin and Topamax have generics. Those 3 drugs are different chemically, so one may give a person better relief than the others. When you look them up they are called anti-seizure medications. that’s because seizures are caused by nerve abnormalities. That does not mean that someone with nerve pain is going to have a seizure. It just means that nerves require a different formula to quiet pain that other body parts do.
Someone with a herniated disc – surgery is needed. That disc material isn’t going to put itself back inside the disc. No reputable doctor will prescribe narcotics on an ongoing basis for herniation. Ordering narcotics over the internet is not smart. You don’t know what you’re getting. Care about what you put into your body. Some things are not reversible.

Folks – you that take Vicodin. It IS hydrocodone with acetaminophen (tylenol) added. Tylenol is an anti-inflammatory so it adds a little extra to the relief of pain. You can take hydrocodone and buy your own tylenol (or generic equivalent) and take 375mg. and you’ll have your Vicodin.
Paying for hydrocodone and Tylenol will probably be less expensive than paying for Vicodin. I am a RN and give these meds every day to oncology patients with severe pain. Tylenol is hard on the liver, so you should not take more than 3-4 of them/day if you are older. Your liver does not metabolize anything as quickly when you are older.
If your doctor writes for plain hydrocodone, it’s because he/she feels your liver cannot tolerate the Tylenol. Just because Tylenol is sold over the counter, it doesn’t mean it can’t be bad for you. People can die from overuse of Tylenol. It wouldn’t be the hydrocodone that caused the death – it could be the Tylenol. People need to be more informed.
For Oxycontin people: Oxycontin is slow release and Oxycodone is fast release. They aren’t supposed to make you feel the same. People take Oxycontin for ongoing pain and Oxycodone for break through pain. One cannot be substituted for the other. They are used in combination for ongoing, chronic pain control.
I have never known a doctor to prescribe one without the other – because they are meant to do different things. Oxycontin must be taken on a regular basis to have a good effect. There must be a therapeutic level in the bloodstream to lower the overall pain level on an ongoing basis (day-to-day). You don’t wait until you feel pain to take it. When pain does spike (breakthrough pain), you take Oxycodone. It is prescribed every 4-6 hours as needed. You don’t take it every 4-6 hours unless you are feeling extra pain. Otherwise your body will get used to it every 4-6 hours and then when you have a pain spike, it won’t give you enough relief.
A lot of docs will prescribe Percocet for breakthrough pain, depending of the type of pain a person has. Percocet is Oxycodone with Tylenol added. The Tylenol gives a little bit extra pain relief. Endocet is the generic for Percocet. Endocet is the same thing: Oxycodone with Tylenol added. If a person is older or has known liver problems, the doc will not want you to take either Percocet or Endocet that have the Tylenol (acetaminophen) added. The doc will just order Oxycodone for breakthrough pain.
Percocet/Endocet is Oxycodone with acetaminophen (Tylenol) added. So either one will give a little better relief than Oxycodone alone. Endocet is a generic for Percocet. It is the same thing chemically. The different names are confusing you and you are convincing yourself that one is better than the other based on the name, not what is in the pill They are the exact same thing. The insurance co. will want you to take the generic because it is cheaper.
The drug co. that invents a drug has a patent on it for a certain length of time. When that runs out, other pharmaceutical co. can make the same drug and sell it under a different name. They are the same! I have taken both Percocet and Endocet myself. I am a RN who has given both to cancer patients. If you want to pay more for the brand name, Percocet, and you think it is better, fine. But it is no different than Endocet. It’s all in your mind. I am not criticizing anyone – there just is a lack of information and you are convincing yourselves that you are being short-changed when you aren’t.
If you have a headache and take Tylenol and it helps, you can take generic acetaminophen and it will do the same thing, milligram for milligram. Generic is cheaper. If you are convinced the brand name makes you feel better and you want to pay for it – go for it. But acetaminophen will work just like Tylenol. Endocet will work just like Percocet.
Now: Neither Percocet/Endocet will work like Oxycontin! Mark your med bottles somehow to keep yourselves straight. Take Oxycontin regularly. Take Oxycodone (or Percocet/endocet that has acetaminophen added) as needed for spikes of pain. Don’t take it unless you need it.
For those of you who are not from the medical world, the names are confusing. If you study the history of medicine, you will read about how the medicine men (docs) in ancient times were the only ones who could read and write. They designed their own language to use amongst themselves that no one else would understand to keep the mystique (their expertise (power) going. It kept them in high esteem and reverence. Really. That was way back when, but it has remained the same up to today.
When a nurse or doctor or pharmacist goes to school, we have to learn all the duplicate names for the same drug. It’s hard. Because I work in oncology where there is a lot of pain, I know these drugs and many others by heart. I pass them out every day. I teach about them when the patient goes home. If a patient takes Oxycontin in place of Oxycodone they will get into trouble. The slow release Oxycontin will build up and can be fatal if taken every 4-6 hours. Just like Tylenol can be fatal if a person takes too much of it. Just because it doesn’t need a prescription, it doesn’t mean you can take it without watching the clock. Be careful, folks.
I hate to hear folks think they are being short-changed. Yes, the insurance bean-counters will want you to take the cheapest (generic). If your doc doesn’t want the Tylenol mixed in with your oxycodone (for breakthrough pain), there is a medical reason. If you are taking pain medication, you are getting scripts from somewhere that has a nurse around. Ask a nurse to get your info! Save time arguing with the poor pharmacist who has to do what the doc who wrote the script and the insurance co. tells him/her to do. I feel your pain, folks. I really do. I have had degenerative disease for > 30 years. Some days are really bad no matter what you’re taking. But stay on schedule and get the most out of your meds that you can. Hit and miss doses won’t get you the relief you need.
God Bless.

My daughter, a pharmacy tech and RN BS, has always said that the generic has the same active ingredients as the name brand. I have been given generic hydrocodone several times and have not had a problem. Though I wonder, in the cases of sometimes the dose worked and sometimes it didn’t, if they were late taking a dose? If the pain gets ahead, it may not feel like it is doing much at all. As my dentist once told me “You have to keep on top of the pain. Catch up is hard.”

Today, I just got my first prescription for HYDROCODONE. I am using it for pain due to a removal of a large boil under my right armpit. I hope I don’t have any problems, but if I do, I will return here to inform everyone. Thanks to all of you who share your information. It’s very helpful.

I also am taking a generic for hydrocodone-APAP 10-325. It does not work for me either. I have lower back pain and butt pain and a burning sensation. My script is a new co. this time, and I also wonder about generics.

I too find that the hydrocodone does not work as well as consistently as the Vicodin but my insurance will not pay for the brand name. However, they do not question Oxycontin vs Oxycodone and I always get the brand name there (without the doctor marking the “x” for brand name only). They won’t pay for my Valium, generic or brand name, at all.
As long as insurance companies are willing to pay for the generics from these companies, I am afraid we are stuck using these generics.

I was wondering if I was crazy or if some days my prescription worked and others it did not. My pharmacy substitutes generic every time a different generic for hydroco/apap10/325.
Maybe it is better to ask for the real stuff, different manufacturers are apparently making this product different.

I have spinal stynosis and have to take pain pills daily because of the terrible pain. They say surgery would only be done if I could no longer walk. I am 82 years old. I take Vicodin if my doctor and insurance don’t put me back on Hydrocodone. I called in for my refill at Walgreens and picked up my order. I did not examine it as I had gotten Vicodin last time. Previous to this refill I had finally gotten my doctor to put no substitutes on the order as the Hydrocodone did not work as the Vicodin had. Some one had decided, most likely the drug company per my insurance companys’ request to substitute for the Vicodin.
My doctor went along with it. I was told when I asked at the pharmacy that they were the same. I used them and found they were not the same and did not help to lessen my pain like Vicodin did. I told the doctor that and got the same song and dance from him. I stood my ground and he finally said he would take care of it. He did and that lasted about six months. Once again I called in and was given the substitute. When I found out after arriving home I took them back. I told them the no substitution was in their records. I was told they were most likely in a hurry and did not look up my past prescription and called for the refill as the old one had run out. The doctors office sent a renewal for the Hydrocodone in spite of an order in my records not to substitute.
When I called and questioned this I was told very matter of factly that they were the same. I informed her I had the pain and I knew from experience they weren’t. They are also bigger and very difficult to swallow. I worry about chocking as I am alone. I am stuck with the pills as I had taken them home not knowing what had been done.
I want to know from you if they are exactly the same. I would love to save the money I could if it were true. I would try to convince myself they are identical if it is possible. I am a widow. I am not well to do. I live on very little Social Security and pay my own insurance so you can understand it is not just being picky. I even have to use Lidoderm Patches when it gets too bad. I sure would like to know the truth about these pills.

Is there any concern in taking this drug along with Dilanten. I am epileptic and have just recently learned that decongestants affect the dilanten DRASTICALLY. Thank you.

I have a herniated disc L4/5, with degenerative disc disease, and I am only 26.
i am having a hard time obtaining narcotic pain relievers.
is there anything I can do? Any place over the internet that sells w/out charging a bundle? I can fax my MRI report…etc.
Thank you.

I’ve had the same problem as Larry. I’ve been taking generic hydrocodone for 2 years now for degenerative arthritis. It’s bone on bone now, and I’m going to have a TKR next month. It’s a generic medication for vicodin (Hydroco/APAP 5-500 AB Tab with a V on one side and 3592 stamped on the other). The problem is it works some days and other days it doesn’t. I was wondering if there’s a lab to test product quality anywhere in the United States. I’ve heard so much about sub-standard pharmaceuticals coming from overseas, I would like to know that I’m actually getting what I’ve been prescribed. I tried calling my local pharmacy and they became defensive saying all of their products are USDA approved. I understand that over time one can build up a tolerance to a certain medication, but it doesn’t explain why you take something that won’t alleviate pain one day but will the next. Does anyone out there know of an independent lab that tests product quality? Please let me know. Thank you.

I wouldn’t do that. It’s very dangerous and plus the prices are insane. Not worth.

I’ve been taking the generic for over a year. Last year I had knee surgery that resulted in a blood clot. I take warfarin to thin my blood, but apparently there was nerve damage that has resulted in pretty constant leg pain. I try to take the pain killer only at night. Sometimes I find it does not work, even if the dose is increased. Other times, one works just fine. I take it every day. Could this be a quality control problem?

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